legitimate drama or theatre



  • Serious theatrical work as distinguished from other stage presentationsor from the output of such mass media as the cinema and television.The distinction originated in the 18th century, when unlicensed playhousesgrew up all over London to compete with the two patent theaters,Drury Lane and Covent Garden (see licence). Theseavoided the letter of the law by combining music, dancing, and otherforms of entertainment with the drama they presented. The term 'legitimatedrama' arose by contrast to describe the straight presentations ofserious full-length plays offered by the patent theaters.